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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Larson beats Reddick in playoff opener

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Larson grabbed management of the race late within the closing stage, when he was first off pitroad after the sphere got here in throughout a warning attributable to Ryan Newman spinning off at Flip 4.

Larson led on the restart with 51 of 367 laps remaining, then held on by means of two extra late-race restarts.

Reddick moved into second on the ultimate restart with 31 laps to go and initially challenged Larson for the lead, however the 2021 NASCAR Cup champion was capable of edge him by 0.447 seconds to earn his first Southern 500 victory.

“Lastly [we executed] from begin to end,” Larson stated. “Going 18th to 3rd within the first stage, I did not suppose that was potential however our automobile was actually good when the solar was out. Simply needed to work on it. I tousled as soon as and it obtained hung in impartial, and I slid and hit the wall, and I believe bent the toe hyperlink somewhat bit, so it was sort of a wrestle from there.

“Undoubtedly needed to struggle it greater than I used to be earlier, however we saved our heads within the recreation. That was actually vital. This race is all about holding your head in it. I have been fairly laborious on myself right here the final couple months, however having a pacesetter like Cliff [Daniels, crew chief], he actually is nice for my thoughts.

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“What a good way to start out the playoffs and hopefully we will maintain it going.”

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Model Toyota Camry, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota Camry, Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Mobil 1 Take 5 Ford Mustang, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NAPA Auto Components Chevrolet Camaro, Ryan Blaney, Staff Penske, Menards/Richmond Water Heaters Ford Mustang

Photograph by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Larson entered the playoffs because the sixth seed, with two wins notched up at Richmond and Martinsville each taken again in April, however heads to Kansas subsequent weekend second within the playoff standings behind Hendrick Motorsports team-mate William Byron.

The important thing for Larson was to remain out of bother, which is what a number of playoff drivers skilled within the race, together with Denny Hamlin, who gained each levels and led 177 laps.

However Hamlin’s night time went fallacious when he was compelled to pit twice below inexperienced for what he thought was a free wheel. He later obtained caught up in an accident and completed twenty fifth.

Chris Buescher completed third, Byron took fourth and Ross Chastain rounded out the highest 5. With playoff contenders Brad Keselowski and Bubba Wallace in sixth and seventh respectively, it was the primary non-playoff runner of Chase Elliott in eighth place.

Ryan Blaney, additionally within the playoffs, was ninth forward of Erik Jones, who isn’t within the playoffs, who rounded out the highest 10.

With two races remaining within the first spherical of the playoffs, Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Michael McDowell are the bottom drivers in factors with out a win and in peril of being eradicated from additional title rivalry.

It was an particularly robust race for McDowell who failed to complete having been collected in a Kyle Busch wreck with 31 laps to go.

NASCAR Cup Darlington race outcomes (367 laps)

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